Multinationals confident in Beijing's development, eye more opportunities

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In the past two weeks, Beijing has drawn global attention with the opening of China Development Forum 2024 and other international events. Global heads of multinational corporations visited Beijing to explore new cooperation opportunities with the city.

Beijing's officials met with executives from companies like Mercedes-Benz, Apple, Novartis, and Pfizer. They held in-depth talks on fostering cooperation and development prospects. These executives praised Beijing's rich history, modern infrastructure, and vibrant economy, expressing their firm faith in the Chinese and Beijing markets.

Beijing's GDP reached 4.4 trillion yuan (US$610 billion) last year, up 5.2% year on year. The city is now home to 244 regional headquarters of multinational companies. 

In early March, Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. hit the production milestone of 5 million vehicles, entering a new era with both vehicle and engine cumulative production volume surpassing 5 million units. Ola Kallenius, chairman of the board of management of Mercedes-Benz Group, said that the company is committed to deepening its footprint in China, advancing electric and digital transformation along with its Chinese partners.

Novartis' Changping factory, its only production site in China, plans to introduce a new production line and expand drug research and development cooperation with Beijing-based institutions, according to Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan.

Beijing's innovation ecosystem is attracting international resources. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Beijing's achievements in AI and other innovative fields are reasons for Apple's R&D investments in the city. 

Beijing's strength in innovation is evident with its numerous universities, research institutes, and leading global scientists. The city's commitment to R&D and intellectual property protection creates a favorable environment for multinational companies.

As China progresses towards becoming a technological powerhouse, Beijing's role as an innovation hub is crucial. Pfizer Chairman Albert Bourla said he sees the vitality of Beijing's startups as an opportunity for deeper R&D collaboration.

The Chinese capital has also continued to introduce supportive policies and optimize its services for foreign investors, including providing streamlined services for foreign-invested companies, and further boosting payment convenience for foreigners.

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